12 June 2019
Reading: 1 Kings 12; 2 Chronicles 10-11; Philippians 2
5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. 6 Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. 7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, 8 he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. (Philippians 2:5-8 NLT)
I was struck by the difference between King Rehoboam’s leadership and King Jesus’ leadership. King Rehoboam’s wise counselors advised him, “If you are willing to be a servant leader to these people today and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your loyal subjects.” (1 Kings 12:7 NLT) Instead, Rehoboam responded selfishly and harshly and the fragile unity of the nation of Israel was shattered.
Jesus was a servant leader who, by his humility and self-sacrifice for people, brought unity and harmony and peace. The stories we hear about great servant leaders evoke a longing within us, but the models we are exposed to in daily life are very often non-servant examples demonstrating poor character and wrong motives.
The pull away from servant leadership toward authoritarian control is always present and often subtle. When we believe that our ideas and plans are best for those we lead, it’s easy to take shortcuts and impose our will and our ways. When we become impatient at the pace of servant leadership, or nervous about the outcome, it’s easy to take shortcuts, make the decisions, and give the orders.
Servant leadership is God-honoring and God-pleasing. But don’t forget that the servant’s heart message is for all of us, not just our leaders!
3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. (Philippians 2:3-4 NLT)
Father, Please raise up a generation of servant leaders who are committed to the good of those they lead and motivated by the desire to lead like Jesus leads. Help me and my fellow leaders and influencers to be examples of servant leadership to those we lead and influence. Amen.